Who can ever forget
how suffocating and absolute
the grief that came crashing down?

A handsome and charismatic
young President smiling and squinting
as he waved in the Texas sun.

A beautiful first lady in pink,
holding flowers adoring in her shyness
the highly public favor of her husband.

A glimpse at Camelot before we ever called it so,
nothing could seem better, more promising,
and all was right with the world.

And then.  In an instant.   A turned corner.
The sharp crack of a rifle.  Terrorizing chaos.
Everything, everything changed.

Some have said that America lost
her innocence that Dallas day, that something
essential was taken from her soul.

Others have said that the velocity of a bullet
tore a hole in our best desires and thoughts
never to be regained quite the same.

I can only speak for me, ten years old then
and wounded in my own wordless way
afraid to sleep with my closet door closed anymore.

It was a long time before I would
feel secure again, and a loss
that I still don’t fully understand.

on the 5oth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination